Special to the Press
BRISTOL - The 8th annual Bill Englert Memorial Car Show is kicking into high gear this Saturday. Both vehicle enthusiasts and those who knew Bill will celebrate his memory through one of the things he loved most: cars.
The car show is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at North Main St. The entrance fee for cars is $10, which includes a free raffle ticket. Without a car, entrance into the event is free.
As attendees admire everything from muscle cars of the 50s and 60s to new corvettes, DJs will be playing oldies and food vendors will be dishing out some local favorites like fried dough, hamburgers, and smoothies.
Dash plaques will be given to the first 200 arrivals and a team of ten judges will award trophies to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places as well as to 50 other cars.
“They’re knowledgeable in all aspects of the cars,” said Jim Foote who helped organize the event and has been involved in car shows for the last 10 years. He got his first car at 14 years old.
There will also be a trophy awarded by the mayor and a trophy awarded by Bill’s wife in honor of him. Bill’s favorite car was corvettes, his prized possession being an 1966 corvette he had for many years. Later in his life he owned newer corvettes.
The car show will also be raffling off a big screen TV in addition to having a 50-50 raffle.
Every year there is between 200 and 260 cars on display and about 5,000 attendees, said Joe Englert, Bill’s son who planned the event.
“It’s like an ocean of people,” Joe said.
“People love showing their cars at car shows,” said Joe. “It’s not every week we can shut down downtown for an event like this.”
Joe also said it’s a great event to bring kids to show them what cars were like back then.
The car show is presented by TEAM Bristol, which was founded by Bob Montgomery in 2010.
Montgomery, city historian and then President of the Historical Society, approached then Mayor Art Ward to make a team to create an event celebrating Bristol’s 225th anniversary.
That team included Foote, Ward, and Bill as well as Tom LaPort, Linda DiMatteo, and Harley Graime. Bill was in charge of planning the car show before his death.
Now Joe has taken his place on the team and has planned the car show in his father’s memory for the last four years.
According to Montgomery, everyone on the team loved and respected Bill and appreciated all he did for Bristol. Putting up the American flags around town was another one of Bill’s many contributions to the town.
His son has picked up that mantel too.
Bill was a “great, civic minded man” and a “car buff,” said Montgomery.
The team worked so well together they started doing other events, such as organizing the Stomp Dance every year as part of the Mum Festival in October.
In the past they have done Fun Day at Page Park and fireworks on Chippens Hill. TEAM Bristol has also worked with many organizations to put on various events for the town.
The car show is sponsored by D’Amato Construction Company, Liberty Recycling, and Super Natural Market & Deli.